We here at the ISCFC love Len Kabasinski. He’s a former nationally-ranked martial artist who’s moved into filmmaking, and his very low budget films have, despite their flaws, become favourites with us. We’ve already reviewed “Swamp Zombies” and now it’s time for this, his second film.
Dakota is a werewolf with a problem – the problem being she doesn’t really want to be a werewolf any more. She tries to escape her pack, but they are oddly determined to keep her around – eventually, though, she makes her escape, and starts a new life for herself working at a vet’s office. There, she has friends and access to the heavy-duty animal tranquiliser which allows her to control her transformations, and all seems well for 6 months…until the act of protecting her friend from some goth rapists sets a chain of events in motion that brings her old pack back into her life.
So far, so good, but it’s at this moment things go a little odd. While trying to escape the pack she runs into a nightclub, where the owner of the place and his assistants / bouncers take a shine to her, and then get involved in the fight between her and the other werewolves. Their motivation is a little unclear, although I admit I’m a bit sleep-deprived and probably missed that part – I discover from reading that they’re drug dealers, and they’re annoyed with the werewolves for killing one of their couriers. That this doesn’t come through on the screen is hopefully reflected by the tone of this paragraph! Once again, Kabasinski’s love of pro wrestling shows in his casting choices, with not only Brian “Blue Meanie” Heffron returning as the comic relief werewolf, but Lanny Poffo playing the nightclub owner.
Lanny Poffo! Old school wrestling fans will remember him as The Genius, who read bad poetry from a scroll every week; and even older-school wrestling fans will remember him as Leapin’ Lanny Poffo. He’s the brother of the vastly more famous Randy Savage, and up to this film had never acted before (and only did it afterwards once, in another Kabasinski film).
It appears the technical side of Len Kabasinski has regressed since “Swamp Zombies”, if anything. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume there were some severe problems during filming, with sound recording (some of the dialogue is absolutely impossible to understand), some terrible day-for-night scenes (time restraints?) and a really properly dreadful cast. Pretty much top-to-bottom, they’re wooden and completely unbelievable – honourable exceptions being Darian Caine (as Ivy) and Len himself. I appreciate good actors cost, but I just think he got really unlucky with the people who he was able to get for this one – every now and again, you’ll luck onto someone like Monica Picirillo (from “Swamp Zombies”) but most of the time you’ll get a whole bunch of people who look like they don’t want to be there. The occasionally ropey gore effects are hidden by the fact that most scenes only use natural light, meaning every indoor scene is murky as hell.
I didn’t enjoy this one as much as “Swamp Zombies”, that’s for sure. It’s confusing, the sound and picture are poor, and the acting is amateurish at best. But it’s not all bad – Kabasinski is a student of martial arts and action cinema and is able to shoot his fights clearly, so you can see everything that’s going on, and he choreographs them well too. His love for making films is clearly apparent too, and I’d still take one of his over one of Michael Bay’s, any day.
I’ll see you all for his next film, “Fist Of The Vampire”, okay?
Rating: thumbs down (sorry)